Qingdao Beach Report – July 2011

Qingdao bathing beaches #1,#3, and #6 have been hit the hardest by this year’s green tide (Enteromorpha prolifera) which is expected to grow over the next few weeks due to steady southern winds and warm seas. Currently, the North China Sea Branch (NCSB) has launched a green tide emergency with state run clean-up currently underway on all beaches. Twenty tons of Blue – Green Alga sea grass was removed on July 7th with numbers expected to grow over the next few weeks. An algae bloom blanket (reported on July 7th) to be 70 meters wide and 100 meters long has covered the sea near Qingdao number 1 and continues to grow.

The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) reported that Blue – Green Alga sea grass currently covers about 410 square kilometers with a distribution area of 14,700 km². In the last 20 days the Blue – Green Alga (sea grass) area has nearly doubled.On June 15th the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) reported a Blue – Green Alga sea grass area of only 150 km² with a distribution area of only 9300 km².

Blue – Green Alga sea grass poses no health risk, however people with sensitive skin might experience skin irritation to prolonged exposure. Skin sensitive people who chose to swim or play in the water should try to avoid areas of high concentration.

The rabbitfish (Siganus oramin), a species that is being bred in the Chengyang district of Qingdao, Shandong province, which feed on alga may bring some hope in the fight against future Enteromorpha prolifera (Blue – Green Alga sea grass) outbreaks that threaten to overwhelm the Qingdao coastline.

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